Safety Tip of the Week – Preventing Cuts and Lacerations

cuts and lacerationsEach year, millions of workers suffer workplace injuries that could have been prevented. Some of the most common and preventable injuries are cuts and lacerations. Although statistical data differs from study to study, cuts and lacerations often rank as the second or third most frequent workplace injury. Approximately 30 percent of all workplace injuries involve cuts or lacerations, and about 70 percent of those injuries are to the hands or fingers.

Prevention Strategies:

The key to preventing cuts and lacerations is keeping body parts away from hazards. Employers should establish work procedures to identify and control exposure to hazards.

Suggested control measures to minimize the risk of cuts and lacerations:

  • Training employees to use established safety procedures;
  • Maintaining proper machine guarding;
  • Using lockout/tagout procedures;
  • Wearing personal protective equipment;
  • Safe tool use; and
  • Good housekeeping.

Most minor cases can be treated with basic first aid. Wash the wound with clean soap and water. Apply an antiseptic. Cover the wound with a bandage to prevent further contamination and do your best to keep it clean and dry. Medical attention will also be required if you observe reddish streaks traveling out from the injury site or if you experience shaking chills, a rapid temperature rise, rapid, pounding heartbeat, and warm flushed skin. These are a few typical symptoms of blood poisoning.

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